Professor Paul Norman

BSc, PhD, CPsychol

Department of Psychology

Professor of Health Psychology
+44 114 222 6505

Full contact details

Professor Paul Norman
Department of Psychology
Floor G
Cathedral Court
1 Vicar Lane
S1 2LT

BSc, PhD (University of Lancaster)

Research interests

My main areas of research focus on (i) the application of social cognition models to the prediction of health behaviour and (ii) cognitive adaptation to serious illness.

Predicting and changing health behaviour

My first area of research focuses on the application of social cognition models (e.g., theory of planned behaviour, health belief model, protection motivation theory) to the prediction of health behaviour. My research has been at the forefront of developments in this area over the past 20 years.

I have conducted numerous applications of these models to a range of health behaviours including exercise, smoking, diet, binge drinking, condom use, road safety behaviour, attendance at screening, breast self-examination and medication adherence.

This work has also addressed a number of key theoretical issues including the impact of different forms of normative influence, the relationship between past behaviour and future behaviour, and the impact of moderator variables on the strength of the intention-behaviour relationship.

My most recent work has focused on the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to change health behaviour.

Adaptation to serious illness

My second area of research is concerned with cognitive adaptation to serious illness. This work focuses on patients' beliefs (i.e., appraisals) about their illness and how these impact on coping efforts and psychological adjustment.

My work in this area has applied a number of theoretical approaches (including attribution theory, coping theory, self-regulation theory, cognitive adaptation theory) to assess cognitive adaptation to the experience, and threat, of a range of serious illnesses including myocardial infarction, thrombosis, stroke and breast cancer.


Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


  • Conner M & Norman P (2021) Health Behavior, Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology RIS download Bibtex download
  • Norman P & Conner M (2017) Health Behavior ☆, Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Conner M & Norman P (1998) Health Behavior, Comprehensive Clinical Psychology (pp. 1-37). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers


  • Benn Y, Martin J, Millings A, Norman P & Webb T (2015) Behaviour change techniques for telephone-delivered and supported health coaching interventions: an Evidence Check review brokered by the Sax Institute ( for Healthdirect Australia View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download


Research group

Postgraduate students

  • Shahah Altammar - PhD student (Mindfluness and Psychological Distress in Parents of Children with Type 1 Diabetes). Kuwati Government Scholarship.
  • Sarah Bates - PhD student (Weight Loss Maintenance). Wellcome Trust Studentship.
  • Laura Castillo Eito - PhD student (Aggressive Behaviour in Adolescents). University Studentship.
  • Elaine Clarke - PhD student (Self-Compassion and Visible Skin Conditions). University Studentship.
  • Onur Cem Dogru - PhD student (Action Control Theory and Cycling Behaviour). Turkish Embassy Scholarship.
  • Rachel Evans - PhD student (Temporal Self-Regulation Theory and Eating Behaviours). ESRC Studentship.
  • Emily Gagnon - PhD student (Young People and Legal Highs). ESRC Studentship.
  • Kelly Mackenzie - PhD student (Sit Less at Work). NIHR Fellowship.
  • Peter McCoy - PhD student (Self-Compassion and Alcohol). ESRC Studentship.
    Matthew Rand - PhD student (Public Health Interventions to Increase Physical Activity). ESRC Studentship.
  • McDermott, C.J., Marsden, G., Coates, E., Bortolami, O., Stavroulakis, T., Young, T., Halliday, V., Baird, W., White, D., White, S., Al-Chalabi, A., Cooper, C., Cade, J., Turner, M., Shaw, P., & Norman, P. A programme to develop and evaluate a complex intervention to achieve a high calorie diet in ALS (HighCALS). NIHR Applied Research Programme Grant (2018-2024). £2,364,069.
  • Julious, S.A., Horspool, M., Boote, J., Elphick, H., van Staa, T., Davis, S, Norman, & P., Cooper, C.L.. Preventing and lessening exacerbations of asthma in school-age asthmatics associated with a new term (PLEASANT). HTA: NIHR (2012-2015). £486,500.
  • Rowse, G., Brooks, A., Lobo, A., Norman, P. & Narula, P. Adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease: Their relationship with their disease, identity and illness perceptions. Crohn's and Colitis UK (NACC) (2013-2015). £65,000
  • Norman, P., Sheeran, P., Harris, P., Webb, T., Ciravegna, F., Meier, P., Brennan, A., Julious, S., Naughton, F., & Petroczi, A. Time to change! Using the transition from school to university to promote healthy lifestyle habits in young people. MRC/NPRI Phase 4, MR/J000450/1 (2012-2014). £369,171.
Teaching activities

I teach on modules

  • 239: Psychological Research Methods on the undergraduate degree
  • 6010: Multivariate Statistics (MSc)
  • 6070: Professional Skills for Psychologists (MSc)
  • 6120: Research Methods (MSc)
  • Multivariate Statistics (DClinPsy training programme)
Professional activities
  • President, European Health Psychology Society (2010-2012)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Psychology and Health (2001-2006) – the official journal of the European Health Psychology Society. The journal’s impact factor rose from 0.705 to 1.683 during my editorship.
  • Co-editor of Predicting Health Behaviour - a key source book on work with social cognition models and health behaviour that has sold over 10,000 copies. It is a recommended textbook on MSc Health Psychology courses in the UK and Europe.
  • Chair of the Scientific Committee, European Health Psychology Society Conference, Cluj-Napoca, 2010.
  • Invited Facilitator for the CREATE Workshop for early career health psychologists prior to the European Health Psychology Society Conference, Helsinki, 2004.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker at the Fall Academy Meeting, Berlin, 2002.
  • Secretary of the European Health Psychology Society (1996-2000).